In the wake of the police decision not to prosecute those implicated in the Roastbusters investigation, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) believes now is the time for all New Zealanders to consider how we can best protect the wellbeing of our young women.
According to Rape Prevention Education New Zealand, in New Zealand up to one in three girls will be subject to an unwanted sexual experience by the age of 16.
“This is unacceptable,” MHF Chief Executive Judi Clements says. “We know that survivors of sexual violence and rape are more likely to experience mental distress, and we’re greatly concerned about the implications of this.”
People who experience sexual violence will often experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We support those calling for an examination of our justice system, as the current process often re-victimises, rather than supports, survivors of sexual violence. Survivors of sexual violence deserve justice, and need it as part of the pathway to wellness.”
The MHF supports initiatives to educate young people about the issue of consent. A national conversation is required so we all have the same understanding of consent, so we all know that no person, regardless of their attire or the amount of alcohol they have consumed, is inviting sexual assault. With 90% of sexual violence committed by someone known to the survivor, young people must be educated about respectful and safe sexual relationships.
For further information or comment, please contact:
Senior Communications Officer
09 623 4810 ext 811
021 740 454